baratron: (boots)
The Freezepop aftershow party got broken up by the police last night. ROKK!



Actually, it wasn't as rock'n'roll as it sounds. The story I heard was that some completely random person was drink-driving, and someone from the party saw this and took down their number plates. An altercation occured, and someone (else?) from the party called the police. When the police arrived, they reasonably assumed the drunk person had come from the party despite everyone's denials, and broke the party up. Huh!

You know, I don't think it's possible to call the police to break up a private party in the UK. You call the noise prevention hotline, only if it's a Friday or Saturday as that's the only times it happens, and if it's bad enough then they call the police. They Do Things Differently Here.
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
So, here I am posting from my hotel room, "fresh" after two nights of seeing Freezepop. Actually, I am so tired that I want to fall over and be dead for a while, but my body clock isn't cooperating with sleep right now. Bah!

The first night (New Year's Eve) was a rather odd gig, seeing as it consisted of a club night with Freezepop kinda playing in the middle. They went on stage at 11pm and played up until midnight, then it degenerated as lots of people got on the stage with them to dance. Equipment was in danger of being smashed - I saw beer get poured over some cables by mistake. Seeing as I've never had any tolerance for drunk people and Ryan & Dawn were tired, we buggered off pretty quickly.

Yesterday was a much more "traditional" gig - four bands each playing a set. The first "band" was a single person playing electronic music - I can't say it did anything for me, but that's because it was just too ambient. It was a reasonable way to start the night, anyway. Then there was Plushgun, who I already knew to be awesome but had never seen before. Then the New Collisions, who supported Freezepop at their 10th Anniversary Show. And then finally Freezepop, playing for about an hour and a half.

So, given that I am Kasson Crooker's number one fan, what did I think of the new 4-member lineup without him? Well... it works. Really well. Neither Seth nor Ashley are Kasson, nor do they somehow combine their powers to become Kasson, but they are both lovely people and talented musicians, and fill out the band nicely. So Freezepop's not the same band it used to be. Doesn't mean it's not still my favourite band :D

Speaking of Kasson, he was there last night, beautiful as ever. He got on stage for the encore and did Photographic (Depeche Mode cover), Shark Attack and Less Talk More Rokk with them. dino got on stage for Shark Attack and Less Talk More Rokk, and he is now the most chuffed small plushie green dinosaur you could ever imagine!

Richard took a load of photos, but they are probably terrible since Freezepop were playing in the dark for some reason. He's going to look at them in Photoshop later and see which of them can be rescued.

I should write a "music review" of 2010. It seems I actually saw a reasonable number of bands last year. Yay!
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
I should probably mention that The Best Band In The Whole World (otherwise known as Freezepop) finally have their new album coming out on Tuesday. You can buy it, and other random strangeness, here. There's also at least one free track, if you want to know what all the fuss is about.

Personally, I've bought the Level 3 and Level 7 packs. But I want the Level 9 pack. (Not that I haven't done quite a few of the things in it already for free though, heh).
baratron: (science genius girl)
For those of you who were wondering about the woman with the Science Genius Girl tattoo, I have a message from [livejournal.com profile] lizenthusiasm:
Actually, Sean tracked her down on Facebook! He wanted to get a better-quality photo from her since the one online was all blurry. And no, she didn't know about us, she just saw one of our pins somewhere. Which is still kinda awesome.
baratron: (science genius girl)
Today I have been looking at Geeky Tattoos. Then [livejournal.com profile] rowan_leigh pointed me at Science Tattoo Emporium. Some of the tattoos are supremely awesome and come with a deep personal story, others are just.. boggling.

The one that I am most utterly bemused by though is the woman who has Freezepop's Science Genius Girl logo tattooed on her leg and doesn't even know that's what it is. She thinks it's "the international symbol for woman chemist". Well, maybe it should be the international symbol for female chemists, but it isn't yet - it's a logo designed for a record cover! Of course, it is an awesome design - but if I were ever to get it tattooed on myself it would be partly because I'm a female chemist and partly to commemorate my deep love of Freezepop.
baratron: (grinning)
Yesterday we went to see [livejournal.com profile] nitoda and met her cat, who has unbelievably long whiskers. As a result, I am now amused by the thought of what humans would look like if we had whiskers as wide as our shoulders. [livejournal.com profile] wuzzie is quite whiskery already, but that would indeed be a handlebar moustache in excess of any human currently alive!

Also, I should have posted this link yesterday. It's a collaboration between Liz Enthusiasm of Freezepop and "a local Japanese audio guy" for Loft, a big department store chain over there.
we "collaborated" on the lyrics, which basically meant constructing a loose narrative around a list of halloween characters that they provided us with (as much as i wish i could take credit for "bad smell candle" or "gecko", apparently the japanese ad agency thought they were pretty spooky characters). the result is a masterpiece of engrish.

Halloween All Stars: 2009 Loft Halloween.

I think the song is really catchy :)
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
I can die happy now.

Seriously, PAX is freaking awesome. Words alone cannot describe it. 75,000 61,000 geeks, dorks and nerds, all in one place. I keep recognising people then realising I don't actually know them. (It's just that my brain keeps telling me I *must* know that guy with long brown hair, a beard, glasses and a t-shirt about science). So many new games to play, and games in development to playtest. So much free stuff that I'm going to have to FedEx it back because I can't drag it all to San Francisco with me. So many panels with game developers and random famous geeks being amusing for our entertainment (e.g. Wil Wheaton). So many great dorky bands in the evenings. So many people who can't sing playing Rock Band in public, oh gods.

I met Old Grandma Hardcore! She is MY IDOL in growing old disgracefully. Eeeee! And I went to a panel about the Rock Band Network, to which I can only say that it is going to be Totally Fucking Amazing.

Loud-purring, licky, demanding of hugs cat has gone somewhere else now, so I can go to sleep. I'm sure I will write properly about what I've been doing in Seattle later, when I actually have free time. Possibly on one of the other flights I'm taking. And I shall post my Freezepop photos of great awesomeness for those of you who like pretty people to squee at.
baratron: (cn tower)
Travel Itinerary For: MISS HELENLOUISE $mylastname )

Does anyone know why the code for Chicago O'Hare airport is ORD? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, I keep expecting it to be Orlando. Sorry I'm not going to be there for long enough to be social with you, [livejournal.com profile] polyfrog :( But I was figuring you wouldn't exactly be free in the middle of a workday anyway.

So yes, I shall be in Seattle from lunchtime on Thursday 3rd September until lunchtime on Tuesday 8th September. I'll be staying with [livejournal.com profile] jinian and [livejournal.com profile] hattifattener. Most of the weekend will be taken up with the Freezepop concerts, and I'm not exactly sure about Friday or Monday - but we can make tentative plans. Not sure where can accommodate a gluten-free [livejournal.com profile] elynne and a vegan [livejournal.com profile] baratron at the same time, but I want to see you if at all possible so we'll have to find somewhere!

I'll be somewhere in the Bay Area from the early evening of Tuesday 8th September until the early evening of Friday 11th September. I don't know where I'm staying and I'm not even sure who I'm seeing, apart from [livejournal.com profile] kshandra. So many of you live out there that I'm not certain who does! So please comment below if you'd like to meet up and I'll see what I can do. This trip, I'm either going to get a pay-as-you-go American SIM card for my phone or take along a separate American phone, so you'll be able to call me without incurring international call charges. (Why do I always forget about that as an option?).

* baratron is scared of her credit card balance.
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
Just in case you're not already sick of my going on and on and on about Freezepop, Richard's photos from the Boston shows are now online. Woo.

Some previews... )
baratron: (bunches)
History, or Why I Decided To Clone My Dino by helen-louise aged 33
Anyone who has met me in person in recent years is probably aware that I am an adult who likes plushie toys and doesn't care who knows it. At home, there is a big shelf above our bed that holds most of our small cuddly friends. And when I go out anywhere significant, one or more plushie rides in my bag with me.

So, the last time Freezepop played in London was 29th April 2006. That was a long time ago - so long, we didn't even have the smoking ban yet. On that occasion, [livejournal.com profile] kasson the person met kasson the dino, and was totally outcuted by him. After Richard took that photo, kasson was still holding dino, and overwhelmed by dino-love said "He is going home with you, right?". He looked disappointed when I said "I'm afraid so" until I explained that dino's been all over the world with me and he looks after me when I'm sick. Then he said "Could you maybe find a twin of him for me?". I said "I'll try to find you one and post it to you...".

What happened next... )

Pictures of the Dino-Cloning Process with Happy Result See below. )
baratron: (grinning)
Things that are awesome:
  • Being in the same city as Freezepop for the first time in over 3 years.
  • Seeing Freezepop play twice in one day.
  • Seeing Freezepop being absolutely freaking awesome onstage because they're incapable of doing a bad show, even when jetlagged. (So imagine what they're like in their own town with all their friends and family around...!)
  • Liz Enthusiasm grabbing the vile bra I threw on the stage and whirling it round her head for the rest of Super Sprode.
  • Sean then putting it on his keyboard for the rest of the show.
  • Giving presents to Freezepop, because they give me the gift of their music every day.
  • Both Liz and Kasson commenting that it was "like my birthday or something".
  • All of Freezepop squeeing at the Get Ready To Rokk card that I gave them (especially the way I edited it with Tippex and a purple biro to have the correct spelling).
  • Having Sean love the t-shirt I gave him enough to wear it for the second show.
  • Kasson remembering my name and greeting me by it, multiple times. He's so pretty!
  • Giving Kasson the shiny dino that I made for him and having him love it. (Apparently "Made with love, not talent" is the motto behind his music as well!)
  • Meeting Seth (the "new" guy) and his horrible yellow trousers. The role of the second guy will be safe in his hands.
  • Meeting Izzy Maxwell and having him sign my Rock Band cover.
  • Meeting Sean's dad (Papa Drinkwater), who is just like an older version of Sean.
  • Richard taking ~5,000 photos (slight exaggeration) of the shows on his "professional" camera, some of which should be good enough to go online.
  • Hugging Freezepop people many times and kissing the boys.
  • Getting interviewed for the Freezepop documentary.
  • Being invited to the aftershow party and meeting some of the important people who get mentioned on the website and news stories.
  • Meeting Simon the dog! (Liz and Sean's "canine son").
  • Sitting in Sean's studio listening to the new album :)


Things that are less awesome:
  • Getting in at 4.30am and having to get up at 9.30am. Oh well.


Still processing... more story later. Currently at [livejournal.com profile] bitty and [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble's with [livejournal.com profile] treacle_well, [livejournal.com profile] roosterbear and [livejournal.com profile] quillon. Should probably be social now ;)
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
WE'RE IN BOSTON!!!

I am in a hotel room with [livejournal.com profile] hoopycat, [livejournal.com profile] veryfineredwine and a [livejournal.com profile] wuzzie. Dawn is crashed out on the bed and the rest of us are spodding on our respective portable electronic devices.

Freezepop tomorrow :) Wheeeeee!
baratron: (science genius girl)
And is it worrying that [livejournal.com profile] hoopycat and I have been specifically Planning what underwear we're throwing on the stage? He said "Coincidentally, I bought [livejournal.com profile] veryfineredwine some fresh undies this week, and they were in a buy 6 get 2 free dealy thing. And there are always some crap ones in the pack..."

We are somewhat afraid that if I throw the vile, ugly, uncomfortable bra that I bought during an Underwear Emergency, there is a possibility of it hitting a Freezepop member and causing injury - because it's freaking enormous. My advice to any aforementioned band members is "If you see a massive lacy bra coming towards you, CLOSE YOUR EYES because the underwires on that thing are vicious!".

Mind you, I am fairly sure that by the end of the night, it is going to end up on Sean's head. Just because he is that sort of person.
baratron: (dino)
Am grumpy and a bit stressed. There is a story here, and I am not telling it all just yet. It's another one of those Super Sekrit Projects to amuse members of Freezepop which I do whenever I have the luxury of seeing them in person. It's been over three years, and I've been missing them a lot; hence I've had a lot of time to come up with ideas.

My school needlework teacher would be having A FIT if she could see what I've been up to. I have been sewing for pleasure. Or if not entirely for pleasure (some parts of this project have been fun, others have been less so), with the aim of making something specific as a gift for someone else. Considering that I only learned how to sew a couple of years ago and haven't exactly been practising, this has been... challenging. But I've been adamant with the resolution that I am making this out of love, not talent - so it doesn't matter if it's not absolutely perfect. So far I have been remarkably adept at bodging my way through problems.

Anyway, about an hour ago I got to the point where I realised that my ambition had far outstripped my ability. "Only one hour ago?!" say the handful of people who are in on the Sekrit. Well, yeah. I don't have a huge ego ("I'm so clever I can learn to sew and make something awesome from scratch in a week!"), but that "Love, not talent" motto can get you pretty far. It's amazing what a total klutz can create given enough time to think about it and partners who can do the bits she can't (Ludy for the leet sewing skillz, Richard for topography).

But I just can't figure out how to get the feet on despite Ludy's best instructions. I have to get the feet on and the stuffing in, and whichever order I try is the wrong one. I think I should have actually put the feet on before I put the legs on, but it's way too late for that now. And I need to do quite a bit of shopping tomorrow, and pack my bag, and... I know I can take it with me unfinished (in cabin baggage if not hand baggage - I can't figure out whether a sewing needle counts as something not allowed for the purposes of flight - can you possibly hijack an aeroplane using only one small sewing needle?), but I'd prefer to have it done before I go. And I'd also like to sleep both tonight and tomorrow night, especially considering we have to be at the airport at stupid o'clock on Wednesday. Argh. 
baratron: (cn tower)
Just to let any denizens of New York or Boston know, Richard & I are going to be in your fair cities next week. Yes, I know I should have mentioned this earlier. Really haven't had enough spoons to plan anything lately. I think I might still be somewhat in denial about it all. The Freezepop 10th Anniversary? Yay! Kasson leaving Freezepop? *sob*

We'll be in New York from lunchtime Wed 22nd July until early afternoon Fri 24th, then in Boston until the last flight on Mon 27th. The whole of Saturday 25th is reserved for the Freezepop 10th Anniversary show, and much of Sunday 26th will be spent hanging around with [livejournal.com profile] hoopycat and [livejournal.com profile] veryfineredwine. (We're all sharing a hotel room together for the trip.)

If you happen to have any spare time to see us, I'd love to see you. (Richard will enjoy spending time with you but will probably forget who you are almost immediately. No offence should be taken by this, it's just what he does. I regularly have to remind him of people, in a format similar to "You know. So-and-so! Who we met at such-a-place on such-a-time for that-event!". You should be highly complimented any time that he spontaneously remembers your existence and asks about you later!)
baratron: (grinning)
Saw Tim & Peter tonight for pizza & polar bear exchange. (We co-parent a small plushy polar bear called Knut, who came from Iceland yet is a replica of Knut from Berlin Zoo when he was a fluffy baaaaaby rather than a Godless Killing Machine. If this doesn't make sense to you, don't ask.) Pizza was beyond excellent as it always is in Italian Graffitti, polar bear was naughty, surreal conversation occurred. I love them dearly, especially for the huge amount of help they've given me with my recent crisis.

I do not love that Tim gave me an earworm of the Philippe song, a.k.a. Freezepop's most silly song EVER, about Philippe the otter from Achewood. I may need to surgically extract my brain to get rid of it. Meanwhile, Richard was so discombobulated that he accidentally left a 115% tip by entering the amount he meant to pay in the tip box. Oops. If that's what happens on one glass of red wine, it's just as well he didn't have any Limoncello liqueur.

HUGS!
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
Oh fuck! kasson is leaving Freezepop!

Yes, I am sitting here crying! Over a silly synthpop band!
baratron: (goggles)
Being a fan of the Wildhearts for so long has messed something up inside my head. I mean, you have a band with four people in it, all of whom are on various drugs and so fall out with each other all the time. So the band either ejects a band member or splits up completely every couple of weeks/months. After a few months/years detoxing the band get back together and record the best album ever, then go on tour to support it - and all the old personality problems aggravated by drugs or alcohol come back. So the last and best night of the tour turns out to be the last gig ever, as they split up again. The fans sit around online posting in shock "wtf happened this time?". After a few more months/years some solo stuff happens, various people do embarrassing things, then there is some of the happy drunkenness and crashing each other's solo gigs, people end up randomly playing onstage together, realising it works and getting back together. Repeat ad infinitum for the next 16 years.

No one knows how many times the Wildhearts have split up and got back together again. Ginger doesn't know how many times the Wildhearts have split up and got back together again, and he's the one that's been doing most of the hiring and firing! It's alleged that they managed to split up and get back together three times in the space of one night, but no one there at the time was sober enough to be sure.

So, as a result, even though Freezepop are about the most wholesome band in existence (and the most horrifyingly rock'n'roll thing they've ever done was getting arrested at Customs for not declaring that they had band merchandise to sell with them), whenever I get a Freezepop update mail, part of me fills with nameless horror and panic until I read the contents. It's like a Pavlovian response.

And now I discover that "we are psyched to introduce a great new feature: Freezepop Premium Updates! Every day, we'll be posting fun stuff like behind-the-scenes videos, songs, photos, random musings, stuff from the archives, and who knows what all else." So while I'm sitting here bitching about them selling out because the feature will cost US $2.99 a month (i.e. less than I spend a day on hot chocolate), what I really mean is that I'm not sure my nerves will take it.
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
I am insanely behind with livejournal. There are various important/exciting/stressful things I "should" be telling you, but I'm too damn tired at the moment. More spoons will exist after 19th June (when my students' last public exam is).

Instead, here is something that made me laugh my arse off. Freezepop's video for Brainpower. The remote control of doom is ridiculously funny, although I believe it is illegal to launch Poison Gas at Freezepop. There's also a making of, which is also quite amusing, although I had to turn the volume up a lot to be able to make out half of what they were saying.
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
I JUST NOW realised that the song "thought balloon" on the new Freezepop album sounds like "untitled song (about a girl of course)" by Trousershock BC! Which is my favourite Trousershock BC song ever, and always was!

Except... Trousershock BC were a small band local to the hometown where I grew up, and there are no more than 200 tapes with that song on in existence. So there is no way on earth that Freezepop, from Boston, USA, could have written a song in 2007 based on a song by TBC from Yateley in Surrey, written in 1992.

The only person that will be in common between TBC & Freezepop will be me (or possibly, [livejournal.com profile] inquis). I *was* Trousershock BC's fan club. I don't mean that I was *in* the fan club, or even that I *ran* the fan club - I *was* the fan club! TBC were a *tiny* band that played at a handful of local venues near where I lived. I used to sell tapes for them before & after their shows because I was small and girlie and could persuade people to part with cash (the princely sum of £2). They never even had a record company. They almost got signed to Food Records (who released stuff by e.g. Jesus Jones) but it fell through because Graham the singer was too ugly. Food signed Sensitizer instead, who made one album then disappeared into obscurity.

More likely, the two songs were both inspired by the same original song - but WHAT song?

* baratron hyperventilates

The funny thing is I've been thinking about Trousershock BC a lot lately. I've had a plan for a couple of months now to go through the boxes of stuff I inherited from my parents & look for their demo tapes so I can, er, somehow rig up a device to rip them to MP3. This has pushed that into "really urgent".

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